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Twenty Ideas du jour for the Practicing Project Manager

  1. It is best not to share the project plan with the project team as it leads to unnecessary and usually incredibly stupid questions.

  2. Mandate that team members submit task duration estimates as precisely as possible: two decimal digits (e.g. 17.36 days) are usually sufficient but some projects may require three digits.
  3. Strive to disperse project team over multiple locations: it greatly reduces the time people waste mindlessly chattering with each other.
  4. In this economy, everyone ought to be able to work harder. Schedule tasks based on 10-hour days.
  5. Involve the Steering Committee in day-to-day running of the project. They will tell you how much they like it.
  6. When briefing the Steering Committee, it’s a good idea to declare all nearly completed tasks as completed. Ninety per cent is awfully close to 100 per cent and the Committee Members will feel encouraged.
  7. Try to surprise your Project Sponsor every now and then. Rescheduling the implementation date, firing half of the team or changing the vendor half-way through should all be considered.
  8. Status updates clutter mailboxes, so avoid them.
  9. Get rid of those team members who disagree with you. You are in charge of a critical project and the last thing you want around is some worm questioning your decisions.
  10. Don’t waste any time trying to understand the business domain. It is unimportant and is not your job.
  11. A list of typical project risks can be easily obtained on the Internet. Don’t waste precious time developing it; this is merely a formality.
  12. Act professionally: don’t engage in unrelated conversations with your staff and certainly avoid socializing with them. It is important to maintain a distance.
  13. Information Technology is an exact, predictable field. If your programmers cannot write code without any defects, replace them.
  14. To speed up negotiations with vendors, just sign their canned contracts.
  15. Details are unimportant; the job of the project manager is the overall supervision.
  16. Once the scope of the project is determined, ensure that it is impossible to change it.
  17. A lot of people may claim to be project stakeholders. Feel free to ignore those you don’t like.
  18. Encourage team members to decide for themselves what their tasks should be.
  19. The best way to gauge the skill of a fellow project manager is to ask them about the largest project budget they’ve ever been responsible for.
  20. Plan to release the project team on the day of implementation, to save money.

(Bonus) Forget that it’s April Fools’ Day and start typing an angry letter to the Editor.
Remember that it’s April Fools’ Day when you’re on the third page of it!

Ilya Bogorad is the Principal of Bizvortex Consulting Group Inc, a management consulting company located in Toronto, Canada. Ilya specializes in building better IT organizations and can be reached at [email protected] or (905) 278 4753

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